DUBAI, 24th February, 2018 (WAM) — Driven by the forward-thinking vision of its leadership, the UAE has made strides in implementing the ambitious UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071 to diversify our sources of income, develop a competitive knowledge economy and guarantee long-term prosperity for current and future generations for people in the UAE, said Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, SDO, while addressing an event organised by London’s Chatham House.
Entitled “Driving Economic Growth in the MENA Region: Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iraq,” the event was held in collaboration with the Centre for Economic Growth at INSEAD Business School. The discussion looked at Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s visions, which attempt to re-orient their economies away from oil and develop a new sustainable economic model.
The event was attended by Deputy Director of Chatham House, Adam Ward, and Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, the first and largest private upstream oil company in the Middle East, headquartered in Sharjah, UAE.
Dr. Aisha spoke at the opening session titled “Capitalising on Diversification Plans in Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” which examined the opportunities open to investors and businesses in new technologies, tourism and the petrochemicals industry, in addition to focusing on the challenges that might face government efforts to transform their economies.
“We are honoured to be part of today’s event, where we can share Dubai’s trailblazing experience as a smart city, as well as our achievements and the role we strive for in shaping the future of cities around the world by designing human experiences leveraging the latest technology.
“As the government entity tasked with leading and overseeing Dubai’s smart transformation, Smart Dubai has championed the use of avant-garde technologies to boost the economy and spread happiness in our community. We hope to lead our region by example, demonstrating innovative ways to embrace technology and ensure sustainable growth,” Dr. Aisha concluded.
Chaired by Jane Kinninmont, Chatham House’s Deputy Head and Senior Research Fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Programme, the session brought Dr. Aisha together with David Butter, Associate Fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, and Dr. Lama Al Sulaiman, Deputy Chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Aisha and Dr. Lama took the opportunity to explore collaboration opportunities between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as both countries embark on ambitious plans to diversify their economies, build smart cities, and establish knowledge economies.